Perfect love Casts out ALL fear // A post for the weary

 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." -Josh. 1:9 

Today was like any other Sunday for the most part.  Woke up to help my husband off to work, brought my toddler in bed with me around 6 to snuggle and then it was hit the ground running.  We went on a bike ride to grab coffee and snacks, came home to watch the sermon online, (I think she has hand, mouth, foot virus) and played together.  Now being 6 months pregnant with our second, I have tried to lay down and take a nap when Riley does. Here is where the not-so-typical Sunday part comes into play.

I laid down to nap with a great convictional sermon lingering in my mind and began to toss and turn-half way sleeping, but really not.  I began to remember the pain of child birth and the sleepless nights, I began to fear the family of three to four change of having thoughts of change of a good thing now.  I felt this weight flow over me that was very different than what I have been feeling about this pregnancy.

If you have read my story here of my first being born, I talk a lot of why becoming a parent was never really a decision that I made head on.  I had a lot of anxiety and fear during the first few months with Riley and God worked on my heart so much.  I feel so different from the that person that I was then and I am forever thankful to Christ for bringing my selfishness and pride down with taking care of a newborn.  I truly feel and know what it is like to surrender out loud alone in my house to the Lord of Lords pleading to Him in a very difficult situation in my life.  He brought me through darkness and raised me up into a new person.  He has used Riley in mighty ways in my life and I am so grateful to be called Mama to such a beautiful and precious soul.

With all that being said, how easily my heart and mind were gripped during this little cat nap.  My soul felt the weight of change in the unknown and I felt this sense of panic.  A trigger that I think caused this was napping.  You see when Riley was little (the first 4 months) I really tried to nap when she did but I had so much anxiety that I really was not sleeping the amount that I potentially could have been sleeping.  I would lay down in bed anticipating that small newborn cry and couldn't handle the feeling, the change, the weight, the contemplation, the fear of all that it was being a first time Mom that I literally could not sleep.  My body could not relax enough to actually fall asleep.

My nap right now was my trigger to remembering and remembering only bad.  I was remembering all of the things that were hormonal, immature, selfish and hard in light of my old mindset and now knowing.  GOD has brought me to a place so special in my life and I wanted to write to proclaim God did not give me this FEAR.  He does not give fear because of HIS LOVE.  He proclaims to me, that His love casts out ALL Fear.  Not just some fear, not just the fear of a new baby, or change, or how it will affect my marriage, or Riley or my hormones--ALL FEAR!  

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18

Christ also says that he brings good things out of hard situations for those that are in Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:28 says: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  He says He will honor those who honor HIM.  I think this whole dream is two-sided.  He also has expectations of me to live out the changes that he made in me two years ago. I made many promises to him in a short time when I was on my knees holding a crying newborn not knowing how to handle it all.  I made it a point that I would decorate my home in scripture, that I would cover my walls in promises that He says over me and my family. I believe this is a great reminder that he does not give a spirit of fear, but He does expect big things from us.  TO live a life of authenticity and being real.  

Being real in my home, knowing we are expanding our family, means battle.  Now it is joyous and I am overwhelmed and ecstatic that I am able to be pregnant twice in my life already.  It is beautiful, with that I do not believe in staying in that state.  I want to be preparing spiritually for potential battles, knowing I have the King of King on my side and allowing scripture to be the sword it says it is.

Being real right now with this pregnancy, with Riley, my husband and myself is knowing what I need.  I need scripture to look to during 1am feedings.  I need reminders of God's love, my purpose and inspiration.  I need to know that what I am doing is what I have been called to in this season.  I need many things and I need to prepare now while we are still a family of three.  

Reminders that we are dependent, lost, hopeless, complacent people are good things!  These are the moments that build character and perseverance.  These are the moments that show us our humanity and the great need for a Savior.

Romans 5:3-5 says: "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

 Be encouraged today lovely people and know that today, right now, wherever you are in life, in your mind, in all your situations that God is with you and He will love you when your love is inconsistent, He hears you when you think you are all alone, and He has perfect love for a person who feels unworthy of any love.